ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for July 9th, 2009

Death To The Dictator

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The Iranian people will not be stopped, AP reports:

“TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Thousands of protesters streamed down avenues of the capital Thursday, chanting “death to the dictator” and defying security forces who fired tear gas and charged with batons, witnesses said. Turning garbage bins into burning barricades and darting through choking clouds of tear gas, the opposition made its first foray into the streets in nearly two weeks in an attempt to revive mass demonstrations that were crushed in Iran’s postelection turmoil. “

Protests 9th July 2009.

Protests 9th July 2009.

Written by modernityblog

09/07/2009 at 23:44

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War Vet.

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Thanks to David All, here’s a true War Vet:

“(AP) In 1937, John Hovan volunteered to travel to Spain and fight on the side of democracy against Gen. Francisco Franco’s fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War.

Now, at age 93, he’s being honored with Spanish citizenship for his service as a transport driver. On Thursday, the Spanish consul general in Boston is scheduled to visit Hovan’s home so he can sign citizenship papers. His Spanish passport should arrive in a few weeks.

“It was a difficult moment in the world and they risked their lives,” said consul general Carlos Robles. “We respect that and would like to honor in a small way.”

The honor is made possible by a 2008 law that allows foreign volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War – a group made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” – to receive Spanish citizenship and retain dual status.

Fewer than 25 members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade – a group of about 2,800 Americans who volunteered in the war – are still alive today. “

Keep reading.

Written by modernityblog

09/07/2009 at 20:36

Tibetans and Uighurs.

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Australia’s Green Left had an article last year which provides some background to the recent conflicts in Xinjiang:

“Meanwhile, on March 23 and 24 more 1000 people from the Uighur nationality demonstrated in the city of Khotan in the south of the Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. The protests were sparked by the killing in police custody of Uighur businessperson Mutallip Hajim and restrictions on women wearing Islamic headscarves.

The Uighurs, along with most of the non-Han nationalities in Xinjiang, are Muslim. More than 500 Uighurs have been detained by Chinese authorities who blamed the Khotan protests on the “three evil forces” of seperatism, terrorism and religious extremism.

The grievances fuelling both Tibetan and Uighur opposition to Chinese rule are broadly similar. In both cases, while incorporation into the People’s Republic of China in the decade following the 1949 revolution brought economic development and the elimination of oppressive pre-capitalist class relations, this was offset by cultural and religious persecution and discrimination vis-a-vis Han Chinese, reflected in significantly lower indicators in education, health and employment.

In both Tibet and Xinjiang, the market-driven economic reforms of the 1980s and ’90s that lead to the integration of China into the global capitalist economy increased national tensions. The boom in Chinese manufacturing has been largely concentrated in the coastal provinces of the east, with Xinjiang and Tibet confined to being sources of raw materials.

Furthermore, the sparsely populated autonomous regions have become destinations for Han Chinese transmigration. The discrimination and educational disadvantage faced by the local population has meant that, in both Xinjiang and Tibet, the rapidly growing modern sector of the economy and the work force is dominated by transmigrants.”

Written by modernityblog

09/07/2009 at 01:44